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I moved to the U.S. from London almost two years ago. I spent six months in L.A., three months in New York, and nearly a year here in the D.C. area. I have to agree with Arion Berger (“New York Fetish,” 8/1) in that comparing American cities is ludicrous, but I only believe Mr. Cloud is half right. D.C. can be a bore for those unconnected to American politics, but N.Y. as the alternative??!! The annoying accents, the expanded rat race, and the unparalleled rudeness, as well as the insane cost of living there, are ridiculous. Apparently Mr. Cloud based his judgment on the best gay hangouts.

As for any straight man out there who agreed with “Bitch Hunt” a while back (10/25/96), you should see the gold-digging status-seekers in the Big Apple. And I observed that as a woman outsider. But in all fairness, I can’t expect Mr. Cloud to know that.

I think Kennedy summed D.C. up best when he said that it combines Southern efficiency with Northern hospitality. I’ve been through several cities here, and they all have good and bad points, but one thing clinched D.C. for me:

I had just arrived here and was walking down M Street looking at Georgetown’s much touted hangouts. Walking in front of me was a group of rowdy men trying to pick up every woman who walked by with “I’m from New Yawk” in that barbarous accent. One woman shut them up finally when she walked by and said, “So am I. Fuck off.” I had to laugh at her giving them a taste of home.

To call D.C. friendly is, of course, another lie. But at least it is friendlier than New York, and although that isn’t hard it is at least a step in the right direction.

Alexandria, Va.

via the Internet